Adelaide Soundwave, 1st Mar ’14 – Review – Across The Ocean

Adelaide Soundwave, 1st Mar ’14 – Review

It’s hard to believe that Soundwave 2014 has been and gone, leaving behind some great memories of some great performances and the experience of being at one of Australia’s biggest festivals.

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No doubt Soundwave organisers would be breathing a sigh of relief that it’s over given the terrible lead up with just about everything going wrong actually going wrong. Fortunately, the Adelaide leg proved to be a great day, the weather was great and so too was the music.

Like any festival there’s always some tough decisions to be made about who to see, whether to see their full set or a bit of this or a bit of that then managing the juggling act of being able to see all these great acts scattered over a number of different stages. Biggest regret was not seeing recently reformed band The Porkers hitting the main stage for a rare performance in this neck of the woods. Biffy Clyro! Awesome! I’ve been waiting a long time to see these guys play in A-town and they did more than just warm the stage. Forty five minutes really wasn’t enough for these guys playing what one expect including big hit Mountains, That Golden Rule and Living Is A Problem Because Everything Dies. It was also a tough choice to miss Heaven’s Basement.

Excitement machine Alter Bridge didn’t disappoint either making a return visit with relatively new album Fortress in tow. Myles Kennedy would have to be one of the best front men going around going full throttle on Addicted To Pain and City Of Achilles from the new album. Plenty of old stuff thrown in to with Ghosts Of Days Gone By, Blackbird, Rise Today and Isolation to appease the diehards.

Richie Sambora for me was a bit of a disappointment. Kudos to him for accepting the late invitation to join the line up but being the seasoned veteran I was expecting a lot more from his performance. Teaming up with former Adelaide gal Orianthi added some star studded quality to the band. There were the Bon Jovi classics such as Lay Your Hands On Me, Wanted Dead Or Alive and Livin’ On A Prayer which were ok but really didn’t create a lot of excitement. I’m not sure what Sambora was thinking covering INXS’s Don’t Change.

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“Richie Sambora – a bit of a disappointment”

Australia’s very own The Living End really stepped up to the plate to dismiss the naysayers to put on a stellar performance and providing a subtle contrast from the more heavier acts on the bill.

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“The Living End are a band you can always count on to deliver”

One thing is for sure is that The Living End are a band you can always count on to deliver. Whilst there wasn’t anything new thrown in the set a staple of greatest hits got the mosh jumping along to Second Solution, Roll On and essential must play Prisoner Of Society. All Torn Down, White Noise and set closer West End Riot were brilliant. How good was Chris Cheney on E-Boogie – brilliant!

Placebo returned to the main stage for their second Soundwave appearance to support the release of their new album Loud Like Love. Long time fan but their set really didn’t do it for me. After not having seen them play for a while I would have thought some “hits” would have been great but I guess you can’t have everything. Highlights for me were Every You Every Me, Meds and Song To Say Goodbye. It was a shame that the band had the play with the heat smack bang in their face with the weather being at its peak. Fingers crossed that they return for their own tour in the near future.

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“…a shame that the band had the play with the heat smack bang in their face”

From here it was about soaking up the festival vibe and checking the rest of what Soundwave had to offer.

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Bowling For Soup

A Day To Remember were solid but it was off to catch glimpses of Bowling For Soup and Pennywise.

Pennywise pulled a massive crowd who stirred up the dust as they were getting in to it. The Men At Work cover Land Down Under was an awesome take on the original.

Alice In Chains didn’t disappoint back on the main stage with William DuVall taking over on lead vocals after Layne Stayley’s death in 2002 really coming in to his own especially on the classics Them Bones, Rooster, Got Me Wrong, Again and Man In The Box. Man! What a flash back. Korn were great, no bloody great, tearing it up on stage three. Good God and Get Up were tops.

Dashing back to the main stage it was a weird feeling as the end of the festival was fast approaching. Jimmy Eat World played a solid set of the greatest hits and proved more than worthy of the main stage spot. They have some killer hits in the armoury with the likes of Bleed American, The Middle and Sweetness going down a treat.

Love or hate them Green Day hit the stage to plenty of fan fare and seemed a great way to top off my Soundwave experience. Their two and a half hour set ebbed and flowed but for the most part it was great particularly when the band paid homage to classic album Dookie which is celebrating its twentieth anniversary. Chump, Burn Out, Long View, When I Come Around, Welcome To Paradise were all sensational. Throw in She and Basket Case and that’s half of Dookie played. Operation Ivy cover Knowledge was an interesting choice as it didn’t really fit the set. There were plenty of other covers including Highway To Hell, Shout, Jessie’s Girl, Who Can It Be Now and Hey Jude kept the energy of the show ticking along.

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“Green Day hit the stage to plenty of fan fare”

The crowd were treated to three encores with the first being epic in length with American Idiot then Jesus Of Suburbia which felt like it went on forever. Second encore was Brutal Love before returning for encore three. Billy Joe played The Everly Brothers cover Put My Little Shoes Away which seemed a tad indulgent. It was a fitting way to send punters off with Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) before making the long walk or squished tram ride back to town.

Despite the saga in the lead up to Soundwave 2014 organisers can put their feet up knowing they delivered a solid and value for money experience. Fingers crossed for Soundwave 2015 in the city of churches – Adelaide!

Photos: Ian Bell

Rob Lyon

Rob Lyon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rob Lyon has been writing about all things music for well over ten years in Adelaide clocking up more live shows each year seeing the best going round.

Whether it is rummaging through vinyl at record stores such as Clarity and Title finding hidden gems to scouring the internet to find that album by the next big thing or chasing bands to get that elusive autograph and photo his passion is music all the way.
Rob Lyon

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